Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1) Twilight discussion


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Am I the only one thinks Bella is a strong character??

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Jordan I have been in so many of these discussions, and obviously there are always haters. But a huge reasoning for why they hate the book is because Bella is a weak, single minded character. I did not get this from reading the books. I just thought she was a normal girl trapped in this supernatural world. I mean, as the books go along, she gets so much stronger. She's never afraid to speak her mind, she has put her self in near death situations, just to save the people she loved (when she went to James to save her mother in Twilight). And she forced herself into this Vampire world, while most people would have ran and hid from it.

I don't know, let me know what you think if Bella Swan.


message 2: by Christina (new) - added it

Christina Bella's entire world centered around a boy, so much so that she came off as desperate.

I honestly can't say anything else. If I pressed on, I would only provide a long list of examples.


Bailey Dishman I respect your opinion, and in some parts I agree with it, but no I didn't like her. When reading from her point of view I was irritated beyond belief. Of course, this could just be a figment of bad writing and have nothing to do with Bella herself, but she was indeed simple minded, repetitive, and obsessive.

However, when reading from Edward and Jacob's point of views, I did not experience this. So I don't know, do with that what you may. For me this was one of those rare things where the movies were better than the books for the most part, not all, but for a lot of the series.


Books for Badger Jordan wrote: "I have been in so many of these discussions, and obviously there are always haters. But a huge reasoning for why they hate the book is because Bella is a weak, single minded character. I did not ge..."

I agree with you, wholeheartedly. I think people get too bogged down in the "her whole world is centered around a boy" aspect. The point of that was trying to explain the whole true love thing. Stephenie Meyers goes on about it in great detail in New Moon by using Romeo and Juliet as an example. It might not have been the "correct" way to explain it, but I like how she tried. And it is fiction and supernatural after all, so obviously it shouldn't be taken too seriously.
The only part I couldn't stand her in was the beginning of Eclipse, but that was only when I tried to reread it.


message 5: by Diane (last edited Jun 03, 2013 10:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Jordan wrote: "I have been in so many of these discussions, and obviously there are always haters. But a huge reasoning for why they hate the book is because Bella is a weak, single minded character. I did not ge..."

I agree. Despite being human, I thought she could hold her own among the vampires and werewolves.

There is a lot of criticism on Bella's character, it's funny when they kind of say opposing things like "Bella has no backbone and lets Edward decide all the things" and "Bella is so stubborn and wants to have her way all the time".

I do see where that comes from but I think there is a tendency to focus on specific things and ignore others. (Not that there's anything wrong with focusing certain things per se.)


message 6: by Olivia (new)

Olivia booksandbeaches wrote: "Jordan wrote: "I have been in so many of these discussions, and obviously there are always haters. But a huge reasoning for why they hate the book is because Bella is a weak, single minded characte..."

ok


Line I wouldn't say that Bella is weak, but even less I would say that she was strong...

In my view, Bella relies on people to much, wether it be Edward, Jake or her friends...
To me, it feels like, that she isn't sure about her own opinion, unless someone else agrees with her,(SPOILER) as in book #4, where she needs Rosalie to confirmate she has a right over her own body (In keeping the baby)...


Barbara My biggest problem is the book "teaches" young teen girls that your life should revolve around a man and relies on him way to much to live. I feel it portrays her as being extremely weak and that she is unable to function without him. Although it is good for the story line, I do feel that this gives a bad suggestion to young girls that you need a man to make you complete. When in reality it is best to be completely self-reliable.


message 9: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Barbara wrote: "My biggest problem is the book "teaches" young teen girls that your life should revolve around a man and relies on him way to much to live. I feel it portrays her as being extremely weak and that ..."

well it might true there, in some ways but in other ways it might not. bella was bit week as human, until she was turn into vamp, that made her a lot stronger, to use her shield to protect everyone from danger..


Barbara True, but why did she have to wait to be strong just because she became a vampire? That implies that she will always be weak as a human. In this day in age, I feel it is best to always help young women learn they don't need a man to rely on and they can succeed and be strong all on their own.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara wrote: "True, but why did she have to wait to be strong just because she became a vampire? That implies that she will always be weak as a human. In this day in age, I feel it is best to always help young..."

That's why I considered Bella weak. I didn't like that she had to become a vampire to be strong. I would have preferred that she at least learned to be a little self-reliant. If she didn't need to depend on others to confirm her opinion or to do things, I might have liked the series a little more.

Her personality had nothing to do with that kind of weakness, expect when she made really sketchy choices like jumping off of cliffs, letting herself get into danger, etc. I think it more or less showed that she may have had some of mental problem, but not major weakness.


message 12: by Bianca (last edited Jun 04, 2013 06:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bianca I agree, I do not think she is weak! I love Bella dearly! There will always be haters!


Siobhan I don't think she was weak, because she could be as creepy as Edward when she wanted to be, but I do think how she was portrayed and the things she said about her character did not match. She's a hypocrite, and she's rude and lazy. You can be strong and unlikable.


Sarah Barbara wrote: "True, but why did she have to wait to be strong just because she became a vampire? That implies that she will always be weak as a human. In this day in age, I feel it is best to always help young..."

amen.


SarahO I'll agree that weak maybe isn't the right word for Bella. Now I have only read the first book (and seen the second movie) so I only know bit's of the rest of the series but Bella is more of a pushover when it comes to Edward. She is blinded by her love/lust for him that she will do whatever he says (except when she decides to do something life threatening) and not find it creepy that he watches her sleep. My problem with Bella is mostly how she treats everyone else in her life after falling for Edward. She becomes a liar, she try's to isolate herself from the people at school who are trying to be nice to her all for a man/vamp, and she flirts with Jacob just to find out info about Edward (first book). OK, I'm hoping this doesn't sound like a rant cause it wasn't meant to be.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Bella is too f-ing codependent.


Samantha The Escapist Agreeing with Meg and Barbara for the most part here.

Bella isn't so bad as a lot of people say, honestly she's fairly realistic to a handful of people I've met. But I can tell you now that those people didn't end up with loving mates and a perfect fairy tale ending.

Bella, as a character, would actually be quite acceptable to me if she ever suffered for her bad decisions. No, I don't think she's weak at all, in fact she is quite willful. Her weakness as a person is that she doesn't think before she acts and is unwilling to change an opinion. She doesn't question anything once she has decided - which actually causes her to be too permissive and acquiescent when it comes to Edward, the Cullins, or Jacob.

From the beginning we know that Bella sees Charlie as a bumbling parent, and that never changes (This I do blame on poor writing) at best Bella pities him sometimes. She decides that Edward is good and she never once considers any other possibility. This is why in most cases she defers to Edward or his family rather than striking out on her own with independent thoughts, in her mind she's basically already married to them.

Bella actually behaves, for the whole series, as if she's already read the ending.

I guess if I were to associate Bella with an animal it would be the Remora fish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remora . She chooses which shark she attaches herself to, she does have control over her life, but once she's found her host damned if she's going to let go.

"The host to which it attaches for transport gains nothing from the relationship, but also loses little. The remora benefits by using the host as transport and protection, and also feeds on materials dropped by the host." (quote lifted from the linked article)


message 18: by Judy (new) - rated it 1 star

Judy Goodwin Bella is a Mary Sue. That is to say that she is the wish fulfillment of the author--everybody loves her, the world revolves around her, and she gets everything she wants, including amazing incredible super fantastic power. By the end, nothing can stop her. This doesn't make her strong. It just makes her fortunate beyond belief.


Jordan Judy wrote: "Bella is a Mary Sue. That is to say that she is the wish fulfillment of the author--everybody loves her, the world revolves around her, and she gets everything she wants, including amazing incredib..."

I don't really understand why people call her a Mary Sue character. Mary Sue pretty much means perfect. And I bet nobody here would say Bella is perfect. I understand a lot of what most of you guys are saying though. But Mary Sue isn't the term that I personally would associate with Bella.


message 20: by Marilyn (last edited Jun 04, 2013 05:38PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Marilyn Barbara wrote: "True, but why did she have to wait to be strong just because she became a vampire?"

This. I really didn't see her as portraying herself as strong. She made some really selfish choices, especially when it came to choosing between Edward, Jacob or her friends from school and/or Charlie, her own father.


message 21: by Meg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg McGregor I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you have ever been in love - you know that it requires an extraordinary amount of strength to give your heart and your trust to another human being.

And speaking of being a strong character - Bella would and did do everything possible for her daughter to be born! After all - she did die for Renesmee. There were no guarantees that Edward would be able to turn her. How much stronger can someone be?

I am not disputing people's views. This is just my humble opinion.


Jordan Jharice wrote: "Jordan wrote: "I don't really understand why people call her a Mary Sue character. Mary Sue pretty much means perfect. And I bet nobody here would say Bella is perfect. I understand a lot of what m..."

okay, thank you. I never understood that, so thanks for dumbing it down for me :)


Jordan Meg wrote: "I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you have ever been in love - you know that it requires an extrao..."

Exactly. I don't think people realize everything she went through. The whole Renesmee thing killed her and she knew it was going to.


Marilyn Jordan wrote: "Meg wrote: "I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you have ever been in love - you know that it requir..."

So one moment of the entire series redeems Bella from a generally weak character to being a great woman figure?


Diane Barbara wrote: " When in reality it is best to be completely self-reliable. "

I disagree because, IMO, people need friends and/or family and/or a significant other... a support system.

It is unfortunate coincidence that Bella's bestfriend and current guardian (her dad) were males because that just gives the impression that she needs a man rather than she needs someone to be there for her.

It would have been nice for Bella to have a closer connection to another female character (who she could've turned to when Edward left her, *side-eyeing Alice*). But I personally don't think of her any less for having a mostly male support system, though I understand how that's problematic when you're looking at it from a reinforcing-stereotype point-of-view.


message 26: by Stephanie (last edited Jun 04, 2013 09:10PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stephanie Let's define strength here.

The relevant definitions I've found are:
1: the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance
2: power to resist force : solidity, toughness
3: power of resisting attack : impregnability
4: legal, logical, or moral force

Strength is measured in relation to the force you're up against. If it's easy or socially automatic and expected to do the right thing, you don't have to be very strong to do it. It's when doing the right thing is hardest that you show the most strength.

I might as well put my cards out on the table and dive in.

Bella, from my perspective--and I hope I'm not generalizing too much--is just what Jharice said: a Mary Sue. She can be self-sacrificing, but it's probably in a very dramatic, even over-the-top way that says, "see how good I am and how much you should admire me?" It's about a few scary moments, where (if things go wrong) you're not going to be around to reap the consequences anyway. I'm not saying that doesn't take a certain amount of strength--physical courage--but I think there's another kind of strength or courage--moral courage--that means a great deal more and is lacking in too many modern protagonists.

It doesn't take moral courage (or much of a brain, for that matter) to be obsessed with someone you're romantically attached to. (Or for that matter, that you just want to be attached to.)

But true love? True love isn't self-pitying or self-destructive. It isn't going to kill you if you can't have the object of your affection. It doesn't want you to do anything unethical or immoral to have the object of your affection. It's patient. It's kind. It cares about the larger consequences of actions, for the people around you and so forth. Because it isn't about self. It respects self, but it also understands that all the others around are equally valuable selfs who need love and respect too.

From what I can see, Bella is obsessed and whatever insanity goes on between her and Edward is hardly true love. She's portrayed in some ways as a dutiful daughter, but she never really seems to treat her parents as more than pets to be placated or fed. She spares little if any thought on how they might feel about her marrying or becoming a vampire or, for that matter, how it all might affect her or their grandchild or their contact with her and her new family. She has no human friends and, apparently, doesn't want any and has no intention of maintaining a real relationship with any of them. No, the life she wants is going to be rich and lazy and powerful and human-free. Everything will be perfect--unlike all the messiness in her birth family or any normal, human family. Despite their differing backgrounds and personalities (to the extent that Bella has one that can be effectively defined), she and Edward will never drive each other crazy and their daughter will be just fine, born as she was, and they'll never have to deal with and even maintain relationships with people that are difficult to deal with and relate to. Bella and Edward won't need or want anyone else, and if they do all they'll ever need will be right there in the Cullen clan. They have no goals, no real ambition, no real purpose except to exist and make life meaningful for each other. Her relationship with Edward and his attraction to her has no explanation and naturally goes smoothly. She doesn't have to decide between motherhood and being a vampire because she gets both. She can do largely whatever she wants that doesn't take a license. She's supernaturally beautiful and powerful, and she'll always be perfectly in control of herself and never a dangerous predator as a vampire so she'll never have to feel guilty about or regret becoming one. She has nothing to fear. She needs no particular talent or skill. She doesn't have to work or sacrifice, especially to become more than what she is. Her eternity will be one sweet, endless, (empty) dreamy ride.

Now, I'm fully willing to acknowledge that at least some or maybe even all of this may be a caricature. But there's also at least a kernel of truth in it too. Bella is like the adolescent side of us all: she just goes ahead and does whatever she wants and goes after what she wants, largely heedless of how it will affect others like Jacob, and everything turns out more than just fine! She doesn't have to be anything more or better than content.

There's a difference between dependence, independence, and interdependence. People that are dependent cannot function without each other. People that are independent can function without each other. People that are interdependent function well without each other but are happy and function even better together. At best, Bella and Edward are dependent. We're going to need to draw strength from others, of course, but in the end we and only we have to be responsible for what we do and all too often we let others make our decisions for us instead of making them purposefully and responsibly. And we need to be deciding based on what's right, not what's going to get us in with a honey's crowd. This is particularly a danger for young girls, which is part of why the popularity of this series is so disturbing.

I would be overjoyed as a parent if my daughter came to me and said, "Mom, there's something wrong with this girl and I don't want to be like her"--at least in a fair few respects.


message 27: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Diane wrote: "Barbara wrote: " When in reality it is best to be completely self-reliable. "

I disagree because, IMO, people need friends and/or family and/or a significant other... a support system.

It is unf..."


humm indeed


message 28: by Diane (last edited Jun 04, 2013 09:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Natalie wrote: "My problem with Bella as a protagonist, and as someone who people look up to, is that she cheats her way throughout the entire series, making her rather weak than strong, in my view.
Let me elabor..."


Very fair point. Interesting read. Although my opinion of Bella is not similar at all to yours, I do agree that her "rewards" far outweigh her sacrifice (though I find nothing wrong with this per se, it would've been nice to see more balance).


Jordan Faithless wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Meg wrote: "I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you have ever been in love - you know..."

It was an example.


Jordan Jharice wrote: "Jordan wrote: "okay, thank you. I never understood that, so thanks for dumbing it down for me :) "

No problem :)

I hope I don't come off as being to aggressive about this, I see a lot of threads ..."


Oh, of course not! I respect opinions, and I hate the constant fights on these threads :)


Jordan Diane wrote: "Barbara wrote: " When in reality it is best to be completely self-reliable. "

I disagree because, IMO, people need friends and/or family and/or a significant other... a support system.

It is unf..."


I like this point. People can be strong but still have a support system.


Marilyn Jordan wrote: "Faithless wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Meg wrote: "I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you have ever been ..."

Example or not, Bella had three books to grow into a strong character. It feels like a cop out when she suddenly found her backbone around the time she was going to turn into a vampire.

Besides, aren't all mothers self-sacrificing when it comes to their children?

From the way I see it, Bella is weak regardless of what she was able to do. Also, lol. Bella needed everyone to do everything for her.


Jordan Faithless wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Faithless wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Meg wrote: "I think Bella is a very strong character. True, she is head over heels in love with Edward but that requires strength of its own. If you ..."

I know that a lot of mothers would do that for their children, but in my opinion, that's what makes those parents strong and brave. Not all mothers are like that though. There are plenty out there that, sadly, wouldn't do anything for their children. My point being is that just because she is a mother, doesn't make Bella any less strong/brave. Another example was when she walked into the ballet studio to meet James, who she believed was about to kill her mother. She knew that James was probably going to kill her, and a lot of people would have to think twice about going, even if it meant saving someone you love.


Marilyn Um, no. Considering the relationship that Bella had with her mom would show that even she would have done it. I am fully aware that Bella knew that she would most likely die just to see if her mother was alright.

Let's just consider Bella for a second and forget everyone else. Bella originally wanted sex with Edward. And through some damnable miracle, got her pregnant. Even with priorities as messed up as Bella's it's safe to assume that she would have kept the baby no matter what. Because, really. She knew and trusted that Edward wasn't gonna let her die.


Jordan ... Exactly. I don't see your point. Of course she was going to keep the baby, no matter the cost.


Marilyn So... how does it make her a strong character?


message 37: by Jody (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jody Agreed; she such a victim! She can't make up her mind--so annoying and frustrating.


message 38: by Eva (new) - rated it 1 star

Eva No, she's not a strong character. She's pathetic and mistreated and continually participates in her mistreatment.

Ana Mardoll has a series of detailed pieces analyzing what's going on socially and psychologically in Twilight, and pointing out the persistent support of rape culture the books provide. The first one is here:
http://www.anamardoll.com/2011/03/twi...


Charlotte Bella is an idiot. However, she is brave. I'll give her that.
She centers her entire life, like a satellite (even the author uses this word), around a boy she's known for a few months tops. And she's very bland. But she is brave. And therefore, she's not a total loss.


message 40: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Charlotte wrote: "Bella is an idiot. However, she is brave. I'll give her that.
She centers her entire life, like a satellite (even the author uses this word), around a boy she's known for a few months tops. And she..."

ok


message 41: by Olivia (new)

Olivia just a thought is better, that someone can ask SM or even kristen what they both think, about bella character..


Jessica Yes, you are.


"Oh Edward is gone, excuse me while I just fall apart cause my boyfriend dumped me." How does this imply strength to you?


Jordan Faithless wrote: "So... how does it make her a strong character?"

I don't know, I just think that it's strong to put yourself in front of others. Selflessness and bravery.


Jordan Jessica wrote: "Yes, you are.


"Oh Edward is gone, excuse me while I just fall apart cause my boyfriend dumped me." How does this imply strength to you?"


If you break down once, that doesn't define your whole character. That was in New Moon. Yes, I think she was stupid in this book. I didn't agree with half of the things she did. But you have to consider everything else to balance it out. If you were judged by your worst doing, that's not who you are. That's just something you did.


Kirby Jordan wrote: "Faithless wrote: "So... how does it make her a strong character?"

I don't know, I just think that it's strong to put yourself in front of others. Selflessness and bravery."


While I didn't really think her decision to keep the baby showed strength, I did think that her selfless stoicism throughout the painful ordeal did. I'm pretty sure that I would have bitching to anyone who'd hold still long enough, ha ha!

The same when she didn't want Edward to know how badly she was hurting during her transformation...that actually went so far as to irritate me a bit. I thought she should have said "screw Edward" and screamed.


message 46: by Linh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Linh Le For me, I feel that Bella isn't physically strong but mentally. Finding out your boyfriend is a vampire and having to go through with a vampire hunting you is a lot to handle. Although Bella couldn't physically protect herself, she was mentally strong enough to not break down and just give up.


Jordan Kirby wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Faithless wrote: "So... how does it make her a strong character?"

I don't know, I just think that it's strong to put yourself in front of others. Selflessness and bravery."

While I..."


Haha yeah. That had to have take some self control :)


Jessica Jordan wrote:
If you break down once, that doesn't de..."



Maybe I'd buy that.... if anything happened to suggest that she wouldn't pull a repeat if he left her again. But everything kinda indicates she would.

I'll take strong female characters whose stories revolve around them trying to accomplish something beyond "being with the man of their dreams," thanks.


message 49: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Jessica wrote: "Jordan wrote:
If you break down once, that doesn't de..."


Maybe I'd buy that.... if anything happened to suggest that she wouldn't pull a repeat if he left her again. But everything kinda indic..."


hum interesting thought..


Marilyn Jessica wrote: "Jordan wrote:
If you break down once, that doesn't de..."


Maybe I'd buy that.... if anything happened to suggest that she wouldn't pull a repeat if he left her again. But everything kinda indic..."


This a thousand times over.


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